If the reports are to be believed, the new David Bowie album is “completely bonkers.” For diehard fans, there are at least two vital components to that sentence: that there’s a new Bowie album of original music on the way, and it’s a departure from anything he might have done in the past. That would be quite the achievement for the legendary musician whose catalog stretches back over 50 years of rock history.
Pitchfork picked up the story, originally reported in the Times. The news comes from an unnamed “Bowie insider” who has apparently heard the seven-song collection. There’s been no official confirmation of the new release from Bowie or his people, but the “insider” gave the Times an enticing description of the new work.
“[It’s] an album of long, jazzy jams mixed with the kind of driving beat pioneered by Seventies German bands Can and Kraftwerk.
“[The title track contains] Gregorian chants, a soul section, various electronic beats and bleeps and Bowie’s distinctive vocals.”
The rumored new album is set to be called Blackstar. If that sounds familiar, that’s because Bowie just wrote and performed a song called “Blackstar” for the new television series The Last Panthers. As the Inquisitr previously reported, The Last Panthers director Johan Renck gushed over the “Blackstar” track and its inclusion in his project.
When David Bowie last released new music, it was January 8, 2013, the musician’s birthday. It had been 10 years and the once-mighty rock icon had largely fallen into obscurity, emerging for the odd red-carpet appearance with his supermodel wife Iman Abdulmajid. Without warning, Bowie popped a new video and song onto YouTube. So unexpected was the act, that U.K. commentator Jonathan Ross stated that upon receiving successive emails from the head of Bowie’s management company and Bowie’s son, he feared “the worst had happened.”
But despite the record release — The Next Day came out in March 2013 — Bowie declined to give interviews in print or on television. When he was nominated for a Brit Award in early 2014, he failed to attend but sent a suitable replacement: model Kate Moss dressed in one of Bowie’s old Ziggy Stardust outfits from the 1970s. Bowie released a 50-year retrospective of his career in 2014, entitled Nothing Has Changed.
When The Next Day was first announced in January 2013, producer Tony Visconti told Billboard that 29 songs were recorded, although only 17 made the final deluxe cut of the album. He hinted that the songs might be resurrected for a future project.
“We over-recorded, yeah — I think 29 songs in all…and some of them were abandoned within weeks. They just didn’t work out. He often writes without lyrics or melody; we’re just going for a groove or something that’s pre-lyric stage. I think maybe some of the others, if we record again, they’ll be re-written or re-arranged, but they didn’t fit the immediacy of this album. The 17 we settled on were really the hot ones. I think there are three or four others that are hot, but we disagree on that.”
Visconti made some news in September of 2014 by apparently promising new Bowie music, before stating he was misquoted and that he’d been referring to a new track included on Nothing Has Changed.
If the Times report is correct, Blackstar will come out on January 8, 2016, Bowie’s 69th birthday. The full-length “Blackstar” track is due for November 19 release.
[Main image: David Bowie performs on November 17, 2003 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)]